In the previous tutorial, Your Pet “Photo to Art Quilt” Tutorial Part 1, we finished with a Value Sketch and a Master (line drawing). From these we will create pattern pieces, choose fabric and start cutting out the pieces.
Let’s look at my updated value sketch and talk about fabric selection. Not only do you want to consider the colors you want for your pet quilt, selecting the best value (light or dark) is also important for your main focus (your pet) to stand out. By quickly coloring in light, medium, medium/dark, and dark areas you create a map to guide you. You can refer to it to be sure your fabrics will interact with each other the way you want them to. In the sketch below, I have light to dark mapped out in Chisum, my Pug, and the background, which I determined needs to be medium to dark (no light tones) so Chisum will really stand out having the only light areas.
So now look at my fabric selection and you will see the neutrals I picked for Chisum and the background fabrics – blue and orange – have all been selected according to the value map. A medium blue and medium to dark oranges (no light). If a print confuses you whether it is light or medium, squint at it to get rid of the print and you will see then if it appears lighter or darker than you want. Then put it next to the fabric it will border before deciding because THAT will be part of what determines if it is the best value as well.
You might notice I chose to go with a very dark brown instead of going for black fabric for Chisum’s face. That gives me room to thread paint the black areas so they will show up! The dark brown will be there for the spots I don’t want completely black. This means the black parts of his face will have quite a bit of thread painting…probably the most concentrated in the whole quilt. I usually have a limited area of high concentration of thread work in the focal area – in this case his face. So while you are deciding on the value for each area be thinking of how much thread painting you want to do there and how you want it to define that area. This will make even more sense when you see his face thread painted.
In some of the black areas of Chizzie’s face you see highlights both in the photo and the value sketch – his face is all black but to define it and see it, there has to be lighter areas – reflections of light. It will “read” that his face is black but not be completely black. Another instance where you would use this consideration is for a white animal – most of it should NOT be completely white! Look at this example of a white flower I did and how I handle the shadows and how much of the flower is pure white.
Once you have your value sketch and fabric selected, it’s time to make the pattern pieces. My quilt will be around 18×24 so I had to enlarge my line drawing. I have a way of doing that on my computer with Photoshop but I will not be covering that here. If you have done your drawings on 8.5″ x 11″ paper like I did, you will have to take it to Staples or Kinko/FedEx or a print shop similar to have it blown up to the size you want. Personally I have had the best help at Kinkos/FedEx.
My larger map was printed out on my home printer so it’s in 6 pieces and taped together.
Look at your Master (small or large) and number the areas you have outlined before tracing. I start with the piece that will be “on top”, like his nose, that will sit on other pieces to get me thinking of the hierarchy of the pieces – and number it 1. I also marked it with “MD” for medium dark because I determined that’s what I would use in value for the fabric. The numbers are sequential but they have different color coding as I progress through his face. For example I have MD1,MD2,MD3, D4, D5, MD6, D7 and so on until I numbered the pieces in his face and gave them a value code – D,MD,M, or L. This will help you later when you have all these weird shaped pieces and can’t remember where on your animal the go! They will help you when it’s time to glue the pieces together on the Master.
Next you will trace the pieces on freezer paper – on the dull side. Put the shiny side of the freezer paper down on your Master – tape to secure to your light source. As you trace, decide where edges will overlap, and which edges will have a “seam” to accommodate that. I denoted with dotted lines which edges would go under another piece on the cutting edge and another dotted line where the piece overlapping it would be – so I could tell if I overlapped enough. You see some pretty strange looking pieces in my sample and perhaps why the numbering will be so helpful!
Don’t forget to consider what you want to do with the back ground. Mine has basically two parts – orange on top and blue on the bottom. I used a full sized piece of both to go under Chisum as a background base cut according to the master I drew. So don’t forget to make a pattern piece for those – or as in my case I measured how big a piece I would need of each color plus a little extra to be around 20 x 26 once they were glued to each other. I will trim it down to 18 x 24 after it is thread painted.
Next lay out the pieces on the proper fabric – I chose to fussy cut. Batiks solids have great animal like qualities and I looked at the direction that was in the fabric and placed the pieces as best I could to go with the furriness of Chisum. Iron them with a hot iron onto the fabric, shiny side against the fabric, until they have adhered – it’s temporary. Cut them out carefully and I will tell you what to do with them hopefully on Thursday! We will be arranging them on the Master on the light source and glueing them together.
Please let me know how it’s going for you or if anything is not understandable and I can amend the directions. I hope you are having as much fun with this project as I am!